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T&T Express back online
After more than a week offline, the T&T Express resumed operations yesterday. The vessel sailed from the Port-of-Spain terminal at 2 pm with passengers and vehicles headed for Tobago.
In a press release, the Port Authority of T&T announced the vessel had been recertified to resume sailings between Trinidad and Tobago after being taken out of service on February 7.
The number of passengers was smaller than usual yesterday, but the processing procedure went smoothly according to reports.
The T&T Express was down from February 8-16 but ferry passengers were accommodated by Caribbean Airlines flights.
When the Sunday Guardian visited the port before noon yesterday, there were trucks laden with construction material waiting on the compound to be loaded onto the cargo vessel Cabo Star bound for Tobago. A truck driver said they had no problems getting their cargo to Tobago.
But commenting on the ferry woes over the past several months, Bermudez operations manager for Tobago Jaeson David said when one ferry is down it causes logistical problems for companies.
“We had to put extra trucks on the inter-island rotation and have to contend with lack of space and first come first serve basis,” David told the Sunday Guardian.
“When the T&T Express went down passenger vehicles were sharing space on the Cabo Star. To guarantee ourselves of getting a space we had to commit extra trucks into the rotation. By the time we take off a truck, we already have a loaded truck from the day before waiting to go back.”
He said the lack of information about the sailing schedule was another issue. He noted that when the Cabo Star responded to a distress signal of a ship that was sinking in Grenada on February 1, no information was relayed as the Port Authority was in communicating.
He said the major issue affecting sailing schedules was once a cruise ship is in port, whether in Trinidad or Tobago, the Cabo Star cannot dock to receive or offload cargo and this happens mid-week either Wednesday or Thursday. He said as a result of this trucks are forced to operate on Saturdays, but many companies do not open on Saturdays to do distribution and this means an extra expense. He said the company had experienced product outages because of the irregular sailings.
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